Does Medicare pay for assisted living?

Americans are living longer than ever in North Carolina, which is a gift of modern medical science. In fact, the elderly population is increasing right here in our beautiful state as many people are electing to retire here.

While there are many things to celebrate about extended life expectancy, it is also important to plan appropriately. For example, many people believe that Medicare will cover their assisted living needs. However, Medicare does not cover assisted living costs.

It is true that Medicaid will help people who are below a certain income threshold with assisted living. However, there is a very strict look back period for Medicaid to ensure that individuals do not divest themselves of all their assets and then apply for Medicaid.

Assisted living does not necessarily mean a nursing home. While not all seniors will need the round-the-clock medical care that nursing homes provide, plenty of seniors are going to need help with everyday tasks. For instance, many seniors have a difficult time bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and cooking alone. They may not require constant monitoring, but assistance is necessary. This assistance is not covered by Medicare. The only time Medicare will cover any assisted living is if it is directly recommended by your doctor in the aftermath of an illness or injury.

This is why it is very important to have a comprehensive estate plan in place, even prior to you passing on. There needs to be a comprehensive plan for you to enjoy your golden years in comfort, and also to ensure you do not end up in an untenable financial situation when the time comes for you to look at assisted living.